Harry Dean Stanton

A prolific supporting player for well over a half-century, Harry Dean Stanton inspired film critic Roger Ebert to declare, "No movie featuring either Harry Dean Stanton or M. Emmet Walsh in a supporting role can be altogether bad." Of course, there were a few misfires along the way, but most were redeemed by the actor's strength for playing haggard men with battered souls. Stanton was well-liked and utilized by some of modern cinema's most visionary directors including Sam Peckinpah, David Lynch, Martin Scorsese, Sean Penn and Wim Wenders. It was Wenders who launched Stanton's late career breakout when he cast him in an acclaimed leading role in "Paris, Texas" (1984), but prior to that quietly haunting performance, Stanton spent 25 years playing hard-bitten outlaws in notable films like "Cool Hand Luke" (1967), "Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid" (1973) and "The Rose" (1979). Stanton was transformed into a wizened cult figure of the American indie film scene with "Repo Man" (1984), "The Last Temptation of Christ" (1988), and "She's So Lovely" (1996) - to say nothing of his fatherly turn in "Pretty in Pink" (1986) and his unforgettable role as one of the doomed Nostromo crew of "Alien" (1979). A restless, unconventional spirit off-camera, Stanton always lent a sympathetic realness to the menacing criminals and barroom-dwelling outsiders he stashed beneath his craggy face and wiry, worn frame. Late career work like his complex role as the head of a disgraced religious sect in "Big Love" (HBO 2006-2011) and as kindhearted trailer park manager Carl Rodd on "Twin Peaks: The Return" (Showtime 2017) traded on the decades etched in Stanton's unforgettable face. Harry Dean Stanton's death at the age of 91 on September 15, 2017 was mourned by friends, fans and fellow film and television professionals around the world.